I've noticed several bloggers (Dennis Kennedy, Jim McGee, Frank Patrick) referring to a remarkable listing of online resources for improving your PowerPoint presentations at Michael Hyatt's Working Smart blog.
First, Dennis was right to spotlight the #1 resource on the list: Beyond Bullets, the blog started only a couple of months ago by Cliff Atkinson. Cliff deserves to be called a PowerPoint guru, maybe even a presentation or communication guru! His blog is already packed with great tips and research-backed ideas for improving the way you connect with your audience. For lots more, go to his Sociable Media site and look through the listing of articles and interviews with a wide range of experts.
Seth Godin challenged us to avoid bullet lists and slides crowded with text, horrbly designed charts, glitzy backgrounds, and useless corporate logos, in Really Bad PowerPoint (and How to Avoid It):
Alas, this harder than what you do now. But what you do now is lazy and ineffective. It bores people and doesn't communicate with them. Once you get the hang of this process, it's actually easier to make a great presentation [than a bad one].
Cliff recently emphasized the point that PowerPoint's built-in tools are not the answer.
There are no cookie cutters or wizards that make this easy -- you simply have to work hard to learn the art of shaping ideas in ways that are the best fit with the human mind and personality.Spending some time with Cliff will give you the process, tricks, and confidence to make the effort.
Second, I was amazed at the number and range of online resources listed in Michael's post (and he's added a couple from his readers), but wanted to add another that should not be missed: Tony's PowerPoint Weblog. Tony Ramos provides almost daily alerts and links to an amazing array of information relevant to making better presentations. His brief, but useful descriptions are a great complement to Cliff's deeper treatment of specific topics.